The Beauty of Gradation

A beautiful black-and-white photograph isn’t just about extreme contrast between black and white. Often the magic of such images lies in the subtle changes between grays. Though having a strong black-and-white element in the frame helps produce a pleasing contrast in a photograph, it’s the varying degrees of black to white to gray that can help to produce a good photograph.

At first glance a viewer might think that this image is about a woman waiting in a subway station, but it’s really about the details of the building and the station itself; the woman primarily serves as a reference point for scale and as a nice human element. The brightness of her blouse provides a nice complement to the bright windows, which helps ...

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